Improving Self Image

A healthy self-image is fluid. Over the course of a lifetime, it can have a ripple effect on our relationships, the decisions we make and the life we live.
The articles below may help your current situation or you can suggest an article or get help by contacting Susan Saint-Welch HERE. She does not provide psychotherapy by email or outside California.

Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships – Part 2

Breaking the Cycle Part 2

In this third and final article in the series, we cover how children who have survived growing up with unhealthy parenting relationships can change their learned behaviors to better cope with life. The initial article in this series [LINK] explained how their difficulties in coping and personality result from growing up with their unhealthy family dynamics. It is how they survived. The previous article [LINK] and this article cover the positive changes that can happen with practice over time for each of the learned negative behaviors. The acronym “ACA” stands for “Adult Children of Alcoholics” and will also refer to…

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Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships – Part 1

Breaking the Cycle

The previous article in this series listed the negative effects that can result in children raised by one or more unhealthy parents. These children are in danger of continuing this cycle of unhealthy relationships. They, and their children, often grow up as adults who feel “broken” – that they have something wrong or missing in them, and they do not know why. They think it must just be “ME”. On the contrary, their difficulties in coping and personality result from growing up with their unhealthy family dynamics. It is how they survived. The next two articles in this series cover…

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Dating and Self-Esteem: How One Affects the Other

Bad dating experiences affect our Self-Esteem, but this is the end of the cycle – not where it begins. Our Self-Esteem very much affects how we present ourselves and the impression it leaves on other people. Are we confident? Or do we feel we have little to offer someone? Do we set the bar low, expecting little from our dates, believing this is all we deserve? This is just the beginning of how our Self-Esteem affects our Dating choices and experiences. Poor self-esteem when we begin dating can initiate a downward spiral of bad dating experiences. This reinforces our poor…

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Adult Children of Alcoholics, Depressives or Narcissistic Parents – Part 1

Adult Children who grew up with unhealthy parenting dynamics often feel “broken” – that there is something wrong or missing in them, and they do not know why. They think it must just be “ME”. On the contrary, their difficulties in coping and personality result from growing up with their unhealthy family dynamics. It is how they survived. The two articles in this series seek to reassure those Adult Children that they are not broken. But they do need to seek help to work through the effects of that unhealthy dynamic. Part 1 identifies behaviors that may result from trying…

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The Inner Child: Whose Eyes Do You See Through?

Inner Child

Many believe we have left our childhood behind. But, that little boy or little girl inside us (our Inner Child) recorded early childhood experiences that have shaped our adult personality. Our “child’s brain” only allows us to interpret events emotionally. Our “adult brain” allows us to use logical, rational and reasoning capabilities. Significantly, this part of the brain does not fully develop until about 25 years of age. This means we recorded those childhood experiences literally with half a brain. The child’s brain has a limited capacity to fully and accurately understand and interpret life events. We need to realize…

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Stand in Your Own Truth: Don’t Give Away Your Core

Too many times we allow someone else to overshadow what we believe or how we truly feel. We give our Core away and allow others to define us – we lose our own sense of Truth. We do this for many reasons. Sometimes it is out of fear of rejection if we don’t agree with them. Or we are not assertive and it is too uncomfortable to speak our mind. Sometimes we doubt ourselves when someone else has a strong opinion about something. Other times it is because we don’t value our Self enough to stand up for what we…

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The Mother’s Precious Gift to the Son: His Real Worth To A Woman

What Is The Gift? Just as the Father has a special gift to give his Daughter as she grows, so does the Mother with her Son. Just like the father is the door to future men in his daughter’s life, the mother is the door to her son’s future relationships with women. It is the mother who can teach her son about women: how they think, what they value in a man, how they are different than most men, what women want or need in a man. And a very important lesson is how to respect women – something our…

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Self-Esteem: The Father’s Precious Gift to his Daughter

A father is the gateway to his daughter’s future relationships with boys and eventually men or women. What is this precious gift that a father could possibly give his daughter? When we think of child-rearing we often think of supporting the family through steady employment or cooking healthy meals for them. Keeping them clothed and medically cared for. We also can think beyond the basics. For example, reading them bedtime stories or having certain traditions during bath time. Taking them on family vacations and helping them with homework. However, the most precious gift a father can give his daughter is…

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Heal Negative Childhood Experiences as an Adult

Negative Childhood Experiences

Negative childhood experiences stay in our memory bank in our brain. They can affect our brain function, emotions, sleep function, relationships, immune system, and even physiologically in general. We must heal these negative childhood experiences in order to have healthy relationships and to lead a fulfilling life as an adult. What We Will Not Be Discussing: I want to be clear that I am not addressing sexual, physical or any kind of abuse resulting in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or serious trauma. PTSD and trauma are specialties that require the professional training of a skilled therapist and or program with…

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Create a Must Have List to Recognize Mr/Ms Right

The last blog discussed how you have to first know yourself well before you can recognize the “right” person for you in a romantic relationship. I hope you have taken the time to begin to think about those qualities that fit you. These qualities become the “air” you breathe when you are with that special person day in and day out. What do you need to experience in the other person to be a good match? Most people know what doesn’t work for them in a relationship but haven’t thought as much or clearly about the positive qualities they need…

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